Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is protected under ADA?

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.


What is considered a “disability” protected under ADA?

It is important to remember that in the context of the ADA, “disability” is a legal term rather than a medical one. Because it has a legal definition, the ADA’s definition of disability is different from how disability is defined under some other laws, such as for Social Security Disability related benefits.
The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability.

(Source: ADA National Network)

Who is a “qualified individual” under ADA?

A qualified individual with a disability is a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that he or she holds or seeks, and who can perform the "essential functions" of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. Requiring the ability to perform "essential" functions assures that an individual will not be considered unqualified simply because of inability to perform marginal or incidental job functions. If the individual is qualified to perform essential job functions except for limitations caused by a disability, the employer must consider whether the individual could perform these functions with a reasonable accommodation. If a written job description has been prepared in advance of advertising or interviewing applicants for a job, this will be considered as evidence, although not necessarily conclusive evidence, of the essential functions of the job.

For students, the definition is a bit different, but with the same spirit.  A “qualified student with disability” refers to a student with a disability “who meets the academic and technical standards requisite for admission or participation in the institution’s educational program or activity”.  Thus, admission to LSU, a program within LSU or any other activity or event requires the same admission standards for a student for eligibility. 

(Sources: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights)


Who do I contact to request accommodations?

Accommodations for students are afforded by the Office of Disability Services. This includes not only the classroom setting, but also LSU sponsored study abroad and LSU coordinated field or internship experiences.

Accommodations for campus employment, including student employment, are processed by the ADA Coordinator.


How do I change or update my current accommodations?

Registered students may amend accommodations by scheduling a meeting with their respective DS advisors. Employees should request consultation with the ADA Coordinator.


Can I decline an accommodation offered to me by Disability Services or the ADA Coordinator?

Individuals requesting accommodations not only have the right to decline offered accommodations, but are free to also appeal any declined accommodation.  Appeals of student accommodations are made in writing to the ADA Coordinator within fourteen days of the decision by DS. See section B in PS-26. Employee accommodations may be appealed in accordance with PS-26.  


How do I access accommodation letters?

Students may submit a Request Accommodation Letter Form (RALF). RALF can be accessed through Disability Services’ website by students who are actively registered with Disability Services and receive academic accommodations. Employee accommodations are memorialized in memo sent directly from the ADA Coordinator to the requesting employee.  


When is a faculty member or supervisor required to provide a reasonable accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations are provided to individuals evidencing a disability that results in limitation of one or more major life activities. Once reviewed by Disability Services and/or the ADA Coordinator, all accommodations afforded must be delivered by the faculty member, employing department or other area of oversight. It is not the decision of the faculty member or supervisor whether to afford accommodations.


What do I do if an employer/professor does not grant me my required accommodations?

Students with accommodations should contact Disability Services in the event that issues occur. If the concern arises in an employment situation, the ADA Coordinator is the appropriate office to contact.


Who do I contact for questions or concerns about access regarding: